Drop + THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier

Drop + THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier

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Product Description
Announced at CES 2018, the Drop + THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™) 789 is a linear bipolar amplifier with feed-forward error correction. It’s designed for objectivists who appreciate an incredibly clean, transparent amp—the sought-after “wire with gain” whose amplification is wholly uncolored by a sound of its own Read More

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jaxel
15
Mar 28, 2022
Welp! My amp is also dead. And now i see that the discussion board is flooded with dead devices. I literally used the amp a few times only and then i got the infinite red light. Guess ill have to sell it for parts too like a few ppl I've seen on eBay. This is incredibly disappointing. To top it all off I bought this amp with the Focal Elex combo, and the Focal cans also died (twice) so i had to return those 2 times and then get a refund. In conclusion may this serve as a warning for future buyers, youre better off not buying Drop branded peripherals since the quality is sketchy at best.
lunawang
6
Mar 17, 2022
It is dead after 22 months. The shortest life of all my amps. Never buy Drop anymore.
im having a hard time deciding if i want the zen or get the thx 789/Grace Design Standard DAC. somebody help me decide please! as of now i have a soundblaster g6 . spend the extra money on the 789??? i have the dt177x go by the way
allsmilesb
72
Feb 11, 2022
(Assuming you have an audio setup that hooked up to your desktop pc) I can not speak on sound blaster g6 because I have never used it. I have a 789 combo with a o2/grace dac amp. You won't be able to use sound blaster g6 with 789 meaning you can't connect the sound blaster g6 to the 789. They both will be separate audio devices that you can listen to. If don't run any software or hardware eq with 789 then 789 and grace dac combo will be very neutral and transparent setup. This means the 789 combo will give nothing more or less then what you put into it. For example if the source audio that plays through has bass then 789 will show it does not have any bass. Another example if your headphones have bass the the 789 will show you the headphones are adding bass. The 789 combo with you dt177x go are going sound very different then what have with the soundblaster g6 and whatever eq you been running. The a zen dac/amp combo will be smoother and more laid back presentation of audio compared to the 789 combo.
(Edited)
PeteMtl
374
Feb 22, 2022
I will answer the question: I first bought the THX AAA 789 to power my headphones: Sennheiser HD6XX, HD600, HD58X and Hifiman HE400i. All of which have been plugged with balanced cables from Hart Audio Cables (each with 10 ft long cables + XLR connectors, and sometimes using a 4ft extension, all from Hart. My source is mainly a Bluesound Node streamer, connected to the 789 with high quality RCA cables. I used the 789´s pass through output to plug a second set of RCA cables to reach my main integrated amp ( for stereo speaker listening). I also plugged into another input on the 789 my CD player with RCA cables converted to XLR inputs on the 789. That setup was great and suited all my needs. The 789 is very powerful and I never needed to go on high gain, low to mid gain was always sufficient with any if my headphones. I live in Montreal Canada and winters can be cold, and indoor heating can bring the inside of the house very dry, especially during the coldest days of winter. This brings a lot of static electricity in the living room, with shag carpet rug an the middle of the living room and the fabric used for both armchairs (the main seating is a leather chesterfield, so no static problem here). As I use one of the confortable armchairs, during those cold dry days I experienced a lot of static electricity shocks when touching the table, the electronic components (integrated amp, cd player, streamer and headphone amp), or any other piece in that room. Unfortunately, I blew the THX AAA 789 by only touching the unit with my finger and when wearing my slippers in my feet: one touch and the amp became dead, stopped playing. I tried everything, unplugged, plugged again, it was dead. I returned the amp to Drop and they gladly replaced the unit. It took a few days so meanwhile I plugged my older Drop O2 amp and it played perfectly, with the same Hart cable but with a 6.3mm plug ends (instead of XLR ends). I must say that during that time i had many static electricity events with the O2 and with my Streamer, my cd player and my main amp and everything is fine, no other dead components from static. A few days later I received the THX AAA remplacement amp and the same thing happened a few weeks later, again with static electricity blowing the 789 dead just by touching with my fingers. Nothing I could do to revive it. I returned the 789 a second time and replugged my Drop O2 amp. Drop gladly refunded me. I was thinking of buying the ifi zen can signature from drop, but because of a customer complaint that Drop doesn’t support any warranty on ifi products, I did not buy from Drop. (Apparently some customer bought the iFi from Drop, It arrived DOA and Drop refuse to honor replacement, telling the customer to return it to iFI directly. If you read all comments here you will find such customer comment. Anyways, I bought the iFi Zen Can Signature 6xx edition from a local store in Montreal at a price similar to Drop’s when you include money conversion and shipping. Well it cost me maybe 15% more + taxes but I can live with that. I really like the iFi Zen signature amplifier. I fully recommend it. It is as powerful if not more powerful than THX AAA 789 when used with balanced output headphones like I do. And unlike the 789, the IFI Zen Signature amps performs genuine balanced amplification, not just having balanced connectors at output and input. It is a true balanced map, not like the 789. There are 4 gain settings and I never use the two higher gain settings. The sound is as good if not better. The noise floor is as good. The 6xx equalisation and 3d optional settings are nice, but I only use them part of the time, mainly with HD6XX and HD600. Sometimes I prefer the listening without the 6XX optional setting, the sound is then smoother, maybe less engaging but there are times you want to relax, and times you want to tap your feet and follow the rhythms. So the optional setting are nice to have, but not used all the time. The only thing missing is the pass through output if the 789, but I manage to plug my setup accordingly. The iFi has 3 analog inputs: RCA (for my Node streamer), 3.5 mm mini-plug (for fixed line out / zone 2 from my main integrated amplifier) and balanced 4.4 (for future acquisition of the Zen Dac, maybe, I’ll see, for now I don’t really need it, the DACs in the integrated amps line out (AKM4452) and the DAC in my Bluesound Node’s analog output BB/TI PCM5242) are good enough for my needs). And if you must know, the iFI has no problems supporting static shocks from touching the unit or the Hart cables in balanced, just like my Drop O2, and unfortunately not like the THX AAA 789. I don’t know what is wrong with the 789, ground issues, protection circuit that is too sensible and that will not undo itself after the static shock event. I am glad to have returned those unuseable THX AAA amps789 amps. Glad to have bought the iFI Zen Signature amp. Sonically, I have not lost anything in the change, I assure you. The only other thing is that I had to order 4.4mm balanced cable adapters from Hart Audio Cables because the XLR adapters are useless with the IFI Zen Signature amp, which uses balanced Pentacon 4.4 mm input. The Zen Signature is as good if not better. And the optional settings are a nice to have. Just my 2 cents experience.
(Edited)
cybergalaxy
29
Feb 6, 2022
Does anyone think the sound quality is better out of the balanced output (Note: at the same volume level) vs the single end? I tried this myself using Sony z7m2 and felt that way. As such, thought of buying balanced cables for all my other headphones which would come up US$100 more. I did some google search (and read the discussion section) and there are quite a few posts stating the Sound quality should be the same regardless the output, so the difference might be my illusion…. Any experience will be appreciated.
rainbowmonkeys
0
Jan 21, 2022
i don't understand why this amp is so popular. it sounds harsh and unmusical. i get it has good specs but specs don't mean anything if the end result is trash. for some reason this amp gets all the attention in the $200-$300 range but there are better sounding amps in this price bracket. the overall quality of the amp is also underwhelming. sure it feels solid enough but when you look under the cover it just looks cheap. This amp should be selling for $150 not $300.
(Edited)
jimbley_tibbets
2
Dec 12, 2021
2.55
AlanDixon
43
Dec 9, 2021
Can anybody give me the solid (tech. and science — actually measurable advantages — no subjective listening) on what the improvements are for going to balanced (other than I see that amps, like the DROP + THX AAA™ 789 LINEAR AMPLIFIER, that offer balanced output seem to have 2x power vs. unbalanced output). Thanks, -alan
Toby1010
0
Nov 27, 2021
Is this a full-balanced amp?
Toby1010
0
Nov 27, 2021
How is this amp with HD800s?
I.AM.ME
8
Nov 25, 2021
i just want to say, this amp politely says, "do it, turn me up, infact, i challenge you"..."DO IT, DIE"
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